What is religious toleration? Is it the same thing as freedom of conscience? How is this toleration related to God's toleration of sinners? This article gives primarily a historical overview of how toleration functioned since the sixteenth century Reformation. It starts with the classic development of a theory of toleration first expressed by Tertullian. The author then gives an overview of the Reformation and the assertion of liberty of conscience, noting the danger of the autonomous conscience. In the present context, the idea of liberty of conscience as an ideal has been overtaken by the more general and broader idea of human rights.
Source: Evangelical Quarterly, 1994. 23 pages.